Warning! I'm gonna whine about what went wrong today in the shop

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First thing that goes wrong: The battery dies in one of the Shop Fox DC controller remotes. I take out the battery and check it on a battery tester. Can't get the needle to move off zero, but how can that be? The remote just worked a couple of times today, but not consistently. Open up a new package of 9V's and check it to be sure the battery tester is ok--it's fine. So I walk back to the shop to install the new battery in the remote when...damn!...I touched the battery to the connector w/ reverse polarity for a split second. Then I snap the battery into the connector, expecting it to work. Wrong! The indicator LED lights up dimly with no buttons pressed; not a good sign. My worst fears are confirmed when I press "on". Dead as a doornail. Wonderful. Out of warranty. Go on line to find the Shop Fox phone number. give up; call the store and get the 1-800 from them. Call Shop Fox; "no, we don't repair the remotes".
Now I know this is going to cost me more time and more money to correct. Because I've had a couple of bad Shop Fox remotes already, I figure why give them more of my money; I'll get an X-10 unit.
I call Radio Crap at the nearby mall; the kid on the phone with the worst job at the mall (other than wearing a funky costume and jumping on lemons all day) says he doesn't know if they have what I'm asking for. So I drive to another RC a bit further away. The kid there offers to help me find what I'm looking for and proceeds to give one tidbit of good information on the remotely controlled outlets, and then follows it with obviously erroneous info (I'm reading the package while he's blabbing to me). We decide I'm right; well actually, the package info is king, and it seems as if a key chain remote and an outlet will give me a remotely controlled outlet. Pay the guy; drive home, head back into the shop, read the directions and WHAM! Screwed again! In order to use the remote, you have to press a button for 3 seconds to get it to register with the Controller? or Big Thingy That Looks Expensive in the instructions (they went all out to put a picture of the Big Thingy That Looks Expensive right on the instruction sheet where I'd learn all about item number THREE that I didn't buy). Mutter a few choice words, put the outlet and remote back in their respective blister packs and call the store. The kid makes 2 abject apologies and offers to refund my money when I "bring it all back". He doesn't understand I already KNEW I could "get my money back when I bring the 2 parts that won't work without the Big Thingy That Looks Expensive".
I almost head back to RC with the 2 parts that won't work without the Big Thingy That Looks Expensive, until I imagine how much worse the traffic is gonna be in late afternoon. Another sigh, and I decide to return the 2 parts that won't work without the Big Thingy That Looks Expensive, tomorrow.
Back out to the shop to mill some walnut. I keep getting 1/4 wide marks on the wood as it exits the DeWALT planer. Shut it off, grab a flashlight, crank the handle 7,680 turns to raise the head far enough to look at the rollers and blades. don't see anything out of the ordinary. Grab another piece of wood and feed it in, noting exactly where on the 13" wide table it's going so I can figure out where the marks are coming from exactly. (That took about 4,000 turns in the opposite direction to get the head positioned to plane the test board.) Now I can see how far from one end, the marks are. Another 4,000 turns to raise the head back up for another look-see. STILL don't see any marks on the rollers or anything out of position. the blades look pristine. This is the sort of problem that should be easily solved with a flashlight and a close inspection, yet I don't see ANYTHING out of the ordinary. I'll post a picture in a bit...
Now that I've eaten supper, I'm afraid to go back out in the shop, because sure as hell, this stuff happens in threes. Either some equipment will break down, or it perform poorly, forcing me to regroup and abandon the project I started this morning.
[Whining off]
Dave
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What is wrong with this picture?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

dime. They have a 90 day warranty; I've had the unit over 2 years. I've seen plenty of remotes and other products have the batteries installed backwards for a moment (it's usually the wife that does that sort of thing, right? :) ), with nary a problem.
Dave
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Try this first:
http://www.remotes.com/remotes/servlet/rs?a=Display&contents=help_deadremote&uid 34531476710
If that doesn't work, maybe they can supply one.
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Wes Stewart wrote:

http://www.remotes.com/remotes/servlet/rs?a=Display&contents=help_deadremote&uid 34531476710
Dave
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Know where you are going with this Ed, but I'm inclined to agree that if this were within the warranty period, it could have been covered with the OP feeling no ethical qualms claiming a replacement.
Given the current state of engineering and our level of technology, I'd be inclined to label this as a design flaw. i.e. Double-E who designed the remote should have taken into consideration the possiblity of someone reversing polarity on the battery, peer reviewers [they did do peer reviews on the design, right?] should have caught that, design reviews should have caught the potential, and any Quality/logistics engineers associated with the design should have identified this failure point and required mitigation/redesign.
Dead items due to reversed battery polarity should be a thing of the 60's, not the 21'st century.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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[...]

Given the incredible prive tag of .4 cents for a protection diode you are sugesting to put the manufacturer out of business by needlessly increased cost?
As a big german electronics BORG advertises: "Avarice is randy..." (In german this has at least an alliteration: "Geiz ist Geil")
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 08:52:14 +0100, Juergen Hannappel

There is a design consideration to be considered.
With the ever decreasing operational voltages that newer ICs use, a diode voltage drop is greater fraction of the available supply (battery) voltage.
If this is a remote with a 12V battery, then 0.65 V or so isn't a big factor. However, with some of the new devices running off 3 or few volts, you're cutting into the supply pretty heavily. A Schottky can help but it's still an issue.
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I believe the OP indicated this was a 9V battery. Still, the trade between protecting against catastrophic damage in what is a highly likely event (reversed polarity applied) and having to deal with the voltage drop to protect against that event seems to come down very heavily on the protection side.
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+yup. 9V.
Dave
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Designer of US Navy ship self defense missile system pulled a diode out of a circuit board to save that precious 0.4 cents and that board failure rate went from almost zero to an amazing high number. A subsidiary of the prime manufacturer operated the repair facilities. Unabashed greed! Logistics "Manager" for the prime had a sign on the office wall behind his desk reading "We are a profit oriented organization"!
On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 08:52:14 +0100, Juergen Hannappel

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Do you have a cite for that? Sounds more like urban legend than reality. There isn't sufficient volume in defense systems that the savings accompanying removal of a component like that would even come close to paying for the cost of the change drawings.

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Prime had control of the drawing package and made multitudes of changes that I associated with being able to charge the Dept of Navy. What I cited is what I witnessed working for the Dept of Navy as an EE.
On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 10:33:44 -0700, Mark & Juanita

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Had to have been a reason other than cost savings for removing that component. Maybe obsolescence or other considerations. Maybe the need to pre-screen the parts may have resulted in some cost savings (i.e, the part itself was really a higher cost than a few tenths of a cent), or the cost of installation, logistics of being able to reduce part count. Even though the prime may have had control of the drawing package, doesn't the procurring agency have right of refusal for design changes?

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Prime issued an Engineering Change Order prior to submitting an Engineering Change PROPOSAL to the Govt for review! Board had a very HIGH failure rate without the diode.
On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 14:57:35 -0700, Mark & Juanita

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On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 10:33:44 -0700, Mark & Juanita

Defense contractors should be giving charity to the U.S. Government?

Ain't that the truth. I worked on the Phoenix missile
http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-54.html
from the time I hired on with Hughes as an electronics tech and worked on an experimental assembly line building the first 30 production prototype missiles, to the time that I was the Responsible Engineer for the solid-state transmitter. Almost 20 years. Our program manager required that -any- change, even a parts value change, be evaluated at the all-up missile level. This was after subassembly and unit level testing, all performed after temperature stress-screening and included full environmental (temperature, shock and vibration) testing.
Later in my career I was a group head in a components engineering department, where we supported all programs. I can guarantee that the preparation of the component drawings, and change paperwork cost more than -any- component, even some pricey subassemblies ever did.
Furthermore, each military branch had a program office in our facility and their represenatives were always involved in design reviews, if they chose to be.
After retiring from Hughes, I was asked to hire on with Raytheon, after they bought Hughes. In that capacity, I worked on Standard Missile, some varients of which are Navy "self-defense missiles."
http://www.raytheon.com/products/standard_missile /
Trust me, we didn't pull any parts out of them willy-nilly either.
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On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 08:52:14 +0100, Juergen Hannappel

You're right of course. What was I thinking? :-)

I like that!
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How was supper? Tom
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tom wrote:

<g> Better than my shop time! Dave
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I can't help much with the other stuff but those 4000 turns go allot faster with a cordless drill driving them. Have a happy holiday there. Count your blessings.
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